MY Anything started in the beginning of 2014. Not to be cliché – making NY resolutions and lists – but I had some time to myself and made the decision to digest Anything by Jennie Allen. I read it quickly in a day or so… and I returned to the words on page 97. Anything….God I will do anything…you can lead me this year and I will go. And just like I had read nothing major happened. So many things were changing already and many things were on the horizon not just because it was a New Year or because I was reading this book. This was the opportunity to look forward to the year ahead. If I look at the elements of experiencing Christ, Prayer, God Speaking, Banding together and Obedience my anything played out differently and yet had a great impact on my life and the lives of people around me.
Subtly things began to change. I began to open up and facilitate small groups and I was able to connect with others and band together – through small groups with Stuck and Restless. Though it seemed I was even more restless after the Restless study was over in 2014. I had lost my father and I still had so many questions. By September I was so frantic I didn’t know what to do. I had led two amazing Bible study groups, banded together with amazing ladies and I was joining the next group and yet I was so lost. I sat stoic and immovable…I was missing something. I also at this time finished two very insightful books by Father Robert Barron Eucharist and Catholicism. Page after page just reiterated all I already believed to be true about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I had from the time I was a child had a progressive experience with Christ and yet struggled to understand what it meant to embrace the joys and sufferings of each day.
So I Prayed – honestly I had no idea how to pray or what to say or what to do. I had prayed anything, prayed for others, struggled to hear God speak and even taken up daily the rosary. And one Saturday I felt led to look – seek – search into the unknown. A place I was so afraid of because I had no knowledge and no control. It was uncharted, uncomfortable and it made no sense. I went on to our local Diocesan website and searched for a nearby parish which led me to a little town that I had blown past in a job search months before because it was too “far away” and nothing was there. No seriously if you blink you’ll drive right past it. But honestly….what? What is going on here. Really God. Really why? What am I doing? I have a church. I am doing well. Why rock the boat? Why? And then it happened…
God speaks through promptings in our spirits, a burning in your gut – Anything pg 187. Honestly, this was the hardest thing ever. To leave all the comforts of church, change, go somewhere new, to nowhere Bally, Pennsylvania. As I argued with God, I heard a “voice” answer me saying, “This is not about you.” And I was reminded that yes I had said anything to God nine months earlier. He hadn’t forgotten what I promised and He was holding me to it. So obediently I went and I began my seven months of RCIA and continued to digest all that I could to curb my questions, my prayers and my desire to know more about what God was asking me to do.
I was obligated to Obey – even if it meant telling people that I didn’t know why when they asked me why was becoming Catholic. How fitting to remember the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Do whatever He tells you. John 2:5 Even when you face struggles, obstacles arise and yes even when people seem to turn against you. Obey.
As the New Year 2015 began and I continued in my journey, I devoured even more books, began to face new struggles and facilitated two more studies – One Thousand Gifts and Anything re-release. None of it was easy, work was hard, my faith was tested, and my long term relationship struggled – even on the cusp of Easter and through summer began to dissolve. Even so, I yielded to God’s decision that I come into full communion in the Roman Catholic Church and started my transition out of my old church. I turned a lot over to God and I had thought that giving up all of these comforts and familiarity would be hard. However, God, ever faithful, made it very bearable and He has blessed me with new challenges and new beginnings. He amazes me still every day.
My anything was giving up my comfort, my control, my fear of the unknown and my places. Does any of this make sense? No I am still baffled but God is behind and before me and He knows the route and I must let Him lead. Everyday is an all-out struggle to let go of what is familiar, what I can/not control and what I know.